FIRE UP YOUR LEGS
WOMEN ON BIKES. NOT JUST A DUBIOUS INSTA HASHTAG, IT’S A REVOLUTION (EXCUSE THE PUN). THE INVENTION OF THE BICYCLE SPAWNED A NEW-FOUND INDEPENDENCE FOR WOMEN: TRANSPORT, PANTS AND, ULTIMATELY, HEALTH AND FITNESS
In the 1890s, morning spins became all the rage in Parisian high society. For the first time, this spurred designers to create “less-restrictive” clothing for women. Bloomers, as they were called, became a symbol of independence – and in many other countries, rebellion. Now cycling seems to be going through a resurgence. Badass gals are traversing mountain tops and muddy terrain and using bicycles as an environmentally friendly commute, plus it’s a serious way to get fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle. And while I’m not sure that we’ll ever transport Webers and children via our bikes (I’ve seen this in Amsterdam), locals are starting to sell their cars and invest in hybrid bikes as a means to get around our congested cities. Running had always been my favourite sport, but this time last year – thanks to the WH Staff Fitness Challenge – I got it into my head that I wanted to try “cycling”. Now I have a mountain bike and a road bike and I’ve completed what are arguably some of the toughest singleday races in SA: The Attak was Extreme (120km off-road) and the Coronation Double Century (202km road race). All within the space of six months. And so can you. Yes, I’m in on all the clothing jokes – and I’m still trying to get rid of my ridiculous tan – but, like any other sports uniform (hockey socks, rugby shorts), the gear (and the tan) makes you a part of the tribe. So, if you, like me, are interested in testing out the two-wheeled world of derailers, full-sus and droppers (more on those later), use this feature as a guide to get you going.